On the list....

Each time Logan has gone to see Santa or is asked what he wanted for Christmas, the answer is always the same..."Toy Story Friends!" 
He has been talking about this play set for months and other than a bouncy ball he saw at the Disney Store (with Buzz Lightyear inside), this is the only thing we've heard about...
Like most kids his age he loves the Toy Story movies and we have been excited that after three straight years of being interested in nothing other than cars, he has other interests.

Lauren doesn't talk too much about what she wants (and let's be honest, most of the time she just wants whatever her brother has in his hands) but Logan tells us she really wants a kitchen, one that is pink and pretty. 

He also says she wants a baby doll and we think he is right about that one.

What is on your list this year?


Well Christmas around the house part 2 wasn't meant to be.  Everyone around here except Ryan has a bad cold and I've spent the past two days under the covers in my bed or lying on the couch.  To make things even better we seem to keep getting hit with all kinds of craziness...on Sunday our freezer/fridge in the garage stopped working and we opened the freezer door to find 37 colors of melted popsicles...we then went to having no hot water, (Ryan works on the water heater) then scalding hot water, then this morning back to having no hot water again....this all comes after Ryan's Pathfinder died on the way to work last Thursday.  I swear sometimes I wonder if we will ever get ahead around here.

Anyway, we spent Saturday at Ryan's parent's house celebrating Christmas with the Diggs family.  It was really nice to do it a little early.  And yes, once again I forgot my camera (to be honest I was feeling pretty terrible and now I know why).

However, I am feeling really glad to have most of my Christmas stuff taken care of...I hate to procrastinate so I am glad to have most of what I needed to have done already out of the way.  The bad part is that Ryan has this week off and our family time is more like cough/sneeze/who has the box of tissues time....

Hopefully I'll be back soon with some photos of something good...


Christmas around the house (1 of 2)

This is a really, really quick tour around the house at some of our Christmas stuff...
It took about an hour to get my pictures loaded (I have no idea what was going on with blogger but I was about to throw something at the screen)...and now there is no time for editing as I have to leave in about five minutes to get Logan from preschool...

Every day the kids bring home new projects from pre-school and I love it. 

I couldn't get it to scan, so I had to take a picture of the kids' "official" picture with Santa. 
I hear you laughing!!!!

This is one of our most precious gifts ever - you have probably seen this in pictures from years before but it is our advent tree and each day we put out a new ornament as we count down to Christmas.

This is our fake tree that sits in the family room.  This is where our presents for extended family and friends go.  (We are celebrating our Christmas with Ryan's family this weekend and I just finished wrapping their stuff late last night).

I think Cody was annoyed that I was taking pictures while he napped in the sun so I didn't dare mess with the curtains.
Dont you just love those TV trays? ;)
They have actually been one of the most-used and practical Christmas gifts we have ever received.
The dining room.  I made that wreath on the wall with left over Christmas tree branches...I was kind of proud of myself (see mom, I did pick up on a few things you taught me along the way...)

and this is our living room (real) tree where I have finally started to put presents from each of us to the other.  We got a Douglas Fir this year instead of a Frasier and I kinda like it, though I wish we had put on more lights because at night it is really really dark in this room (I had to remove a table and lamp to make room for the tree).

More to come later...

Santa Party

Every year the law firm I used to work for invites us to their annual Santa Party.  
It is a real treat for the kids with snacks, face painting, balloons and a magic show...not to mention they get to see Santa and he gives them a gift!

As someone mentioned when I took this, I think I have trained him well.  It cracks me up how stiff he looks.
This was our second time seeing Santa (we also visited him at the mall a couple of weeks ago) but Logan told him the same thing - he wants "Toy Story friends" and a "bouncy ball"...

Santa knew how much Logan loves cars and he gave Logan a bright one with lots of buttons that makes lots of noises.  Thanks, Santa, he loves it :)

Lauren was getting her face painted like a pink kitty when Santa made his appearance and she pretty much jumped straight into the face painting lady's lap (which was really ironic to me because the lady was dressed like a clown and I would think that is a lot more terrifying than Santa...)

Eventually we tried to sneak her over to Santa but she was having none of it.  She was completely terrified of him this year.  She has had a good dose of stranger anxiety since starting pre-school this year so I tried not to torture her too much.

 She got close enough to Santa for him to give her a gift, a baby doll that is just her size.

I think she could only think about one thing though.

The kids loved their balloons almost as much as the toys.
They giggled half the way home as they batted them in the air at each other.

Thank you Sondra and Marks Gray for a fun day :)


gingerbread cookies

I have had good reason not to be blogging...
besides the fact that I was subbing at the kids' school all last week, we have been doing lots and lots of Christmas things

Ryan was on a short schedule last week as he made the transition to a new position at work so we took advantage and put up the second tree, watched several Christmas movies/specials, spent an evening driving around looking at Christmas lights, put on the ole yule log and let the kids dance (they are really into Christmas music right now - heaven forbid I listen to anything else...) and finally I remembered to pull out the camera by the time we decided to make gingerbread cookies.

but before I go on, mom, take a deep breath....



I didn't actually make the gingerbread men.

I planned to.
Really, I did.

Publix sells a kit for FIVE BUCKS and it comes with ALREADY BAKED gingerbread men, red gel, icing, and sprinkles...

oh and my sanity
can't forget that
my sanity was in that box as well.

 Lauren pretty much just wanted to eat sprinkles the whole time and that was ok with me...they were having fun and well, I didn't exactly have any real expectations for her really knowing how to work on a gingerbread man anyway.
 I think Logan is holding up a sprinkle.
I have never seen a kid who loves sprinkles as much as he does.
Forget eating the actual cookie or donut, just give this kid the sprinkles on top and he's thrilled.
 Publix also had Band-Aids on sale for $1.99 (and that might as well have been free considering how overpriced a tiny character box of Band-Aids is) so I stocked up since my kids wear them like stickers.  Here Logan is wearing a Buzz Lightyear and Lauren has on Barbie. 
 When you are working in a kitchen with one light out (14 feet up) + crazy busy kids  + no flash on, pictures like this just have to do.

I didn't taste them but Ryan said they were pretty good.
Unlike anything I would have made...
I have never made a gingerbread man that wasn't as hard as a rock.

and there you go.

In case you were wondering, yes, they ate almost all of them (with some help from Daddy). 
Logan's little man is still in the freezer (because Logan claims "he will stay fresh in there")

Hope you are having time for family fun as well.


the tree (1 of 2)

Things got a little crazy here yesterday afternoon and instead of trying to fight traffic to go see Santa we decided to put up our (fake) Christmas tree and watch A Christmas Carol (this version was a little too scary for kids in my opinion). 

We do two trees every year - we have a slim, pre-lit fake tree that goes in the family room and every year we go pick out a live one that goes in our living room.  (If you ever met my mom and saw how her entire house changes for Christmas you would understand this kind of thing is in my blood). 

The kids absolutely loved helping with the tree and it was nice that the ornaments we put on this tree are not expensive or family heirlooms so we can pretty much let them have fun with it and not have to worry.  (L&L "helped" my mom put up her Christmas tree last weekend and I was about to have a heart attack with every ornament because hers are basically priceless...and yes, an ornament was broken - fortunately it just wasn't one of the priceless ones!)

So last night I attempted to get a couple of photos of them in their pj's but both my camera and my kids decided they didn't want to work in synch with each other, so this is what you get:

(If you are like us and don't have the luxury of a real working fireplace and you have Comcast, you can turn your tv to the "yule log" channel...it is awesome).

Lauren does that cute cheesy smile when you tell her to say cheese...
(and Mimi, I know you hate to see your grandbabies in black and white but most of the photos I got using my flash produced a terrible, way-too-bright, red-eye photo that can only be salvaged by turning it to black and white...sorry about that.)


life right now:

- Continuing to be a terrible blogger/picture taker.

- BUT, we did get professional photos that I am ordering tonight...and I really cannot tell you how much I love them. LOVE them.

- Recently I got on a kick of making bread...first I made a couple of loaves of banana bread (my favorite) and then pumpkin bread. In the end I think I actually made about 12 loaves and I would guess that about 80% was consumed by Logan.  He asked for it before, during, and after every meal. 

- Lauren was sick for three days before Thanksgiving.  Logan stayed at Mimi and Poppy's the whole time and still managed to get the exact same thing three days later. 

- The sickness may or may not have involved him throwing up inside a tent during a camping expedition at 2 a.m. with my dad, Uncle Matt, and Ryan...

- That night also may or may not have included a dog barking non-stop, the world's largest marshmallows and an almost-ruined CPAP machine.

- (He still had a blast though and asked Ryan when they could do it again...!!!)

- Wishing more than ever that we were selling our house right now.  I know I should be grateful that we are not in a worse position but man, it is just depressing.  We had a couple come back for the second time on Saturday but no word yet.  I will admit, I did get a little hopeful they would be it.

- I am 99% done with my Christmas shopping (as of Friday...yes I am one of the crazies, but I saved about $200 on the items I lost sleep over so it was worth it). I am waaaaay over budget but super excited about a few things I have up my sleeve :)

- While waiting in line at 4 a.m. at Best Buy I snagged a ticket for their last Nook...I am now thinking about selling it on feeBay because my husband cannot imagine the thought of not holding paper in his hands.

- Our house has been decorated for Christmas for about a month now.  We have not put up the tree (which we would normally have done last weekend but as you might have noticed, we were all too tired and sick).

- We are planning to visit Santa tomorrow.  Pictures to follow (I hope...)


I'm starting to think...

Maybe we should just go into hiding.

I have never seen kids as sick as mine.

(and I know yall just love getting these sickly reports...almost as much as I love living with them...)

Lauren had diarrhea on Sunday but was seemingly fine.  (wow....yes, my kids are going to kill me some day for these reports).

So we went to church, did our usual routine and she seemed fine (she has had her hands in her mouth constantly so I assumed she was getting in her incisors). 

Monday morning I was cleaning up around the house, talking to Mimi about when the kids were going to come over (they were both supposed to spend the night) when Lauren walked over to me and threw up all over the floor.

A few hours and one good nap later, I still ended up taking Logan out to stay with Mimi and Poppy.  Lauren went off with me, seemingly fine, with no symptoms of being sick (and happy as usual).  That night I even met Aunt Corey for some returns/Christmas shopping at the mall and ironically we ran into our friend Anita and her daughter Caroline, which was funny because her husband Jay and son Ryan (who you may remember from pictures...they spent some time with us this summer while Anita recovered from major surgery) spent the evening with my Ryan catching the new Harry Potter movie. So anyway, she was fine.  Came home, went to bed, no issues.

Yesterday morning she got up, had a little organic yogurt smoothie (I was thinking the diarrhea issue would benefit from that) and she instantly threw up.  All over me.  All over my floor which I had just deep cleaned....and then she went on the rest of the day, seemingly fine except maybe sleeping a little more than usual.

So we have an appointment to be seen today at the ped's office.  I just don't get it.  I have no clue how my kids keep getting sick, how they get different things and don't pass them on to each other, how they get sick even when they are not at pre-school (and I make a point NOT to take them with me to places with germ-covered shopping carts), how we practically abuse hand sanitizer, have gone through a brand new container of antibacterial soap in the kids bathroom in about two weeks....and how it seems that every other week it is something new.

So in case you were wondering - I am just putting it out there on this day before Thanksgiving - I AM THANKFUL FOR OUR HEALTH.  I am thankful for those days when we go on about our lives and don't have doctor's appointments, bodily fluids to clean up, medicines to take, couches we need to lay on, Pediasure in the fridge, Lysol disinfectant to spray, a million diapers to change or tissues filling up the trash can.  I am THANKFUL so, so thankful for our health....now if we could please get it back that would be great.  Maybe we will even go into hiding after all of this is over.  It is not a bad idea except that we have lives to live and things to do....

so anyway,

Wishing you and yours a very blessed, healthy, plate-full-of-turkey wonderful Thanksgiving. 

I am thankful for you!


@18 months

{somehow this didn't post when it was supposed to - this is from a couple of days after Lauren's 18 month check up at the pediatrician's office}

I really cannot believe she is 18 months old, though most people ask me and automatically assume "how old she? two?"  Don't rush it, people. please.

She is 34 1/2" tall (97%) and 25 pounds (75%). 

Her eyes are still blue, though they are a little darker than Logan's.  At her checkup the doctor told me they would probably have changed by now if they were going to change at all.  Her hair is turning from blonde to brown and she still has a mullet (which is why you will always see a bow in her hair).

Her new favorite word is no (she loves to repeat it and then bust out laughing), followed closely by "baby" (which she calls almost anything with a face).

Some of her (newer) words:  bow, shoe, bapple (she calls any kind of fruit "bapple" except for banana, which is "nana"), night night, Ba-man (I will give you one guess where this started), pretty, "tank yew", and her favorite, no.

She is definitely girly -- dramatic at times, loves any kind of jewelry, turns whatever she can find into a baby, accessory or a purse. 

She is stingy with her kisses to me but will love on our dogs or her brother and say "awwwww!" 

Taking her to the Disney Store is like experiencing Christmas morning.  (Just ask my sister - she about cried taking her in there....it is magical).  She adores anything with a "Disney Princess" on it and has been known to pick up Disney Princess lunch boxes from other kids at preschool and kiss them.

She loves to play chase, dress up, hold baby dolls, play peek-a-boo, flip through books, take bracelets off and put them back on, eat fruit (and sneak dog food [gag]), play kitchen/food or vet/animals with Logan, pull clothes out of her drawers and snuggle with "bankie" (her beloved blanket).

It is hard to believe there was once a concern with her feeding/tongue.  She sticks her tongue out and makes faces all the time.  Her eating is not quite as good as it once was (seems to have changed about the time she got that stomach bug).  Her favorites:  milk, fruit, any kind of cookie, chicken, and whatever is on my plate (that has not really changed).

It is also hard to believe she was once such a laid back child.  It seems she is actually a lot like Logan and the two of them are either the best of friends or fighting like cats and dogs -- there is no middle with them.  He does things to instigate trouble and she is overly dramatic in her reactions.  And when I put Logan into time out, she will come over and put her arm around him and sit next to him...and before I know it, they are giggling and up to no good once again.

catching up

Well it has been a little busy around here and before I know it, almost a month has passed since I last posted.

For one thing, Logan has been so sick in the past two months we were concerned there was something really wrong (as was our pediatrician, but after blood tests were run they determined his large tonsils are probably the biggest reason he continues to get any and everything going around).  In just a couple of months he has had strep, a stomach flu (twice), random bouts of throwing up, tonsilitis and most recently, a cold.  It has been exhausting for all of us! 

I have been busy volunteering at the kids' pre-school (and loving it) and a couple weekends ago I redecorated the house for Christmas (yes, I know it's early! We had a rare cold weekend Ryan was willing to go up in the attic...). 

Logan and I spent a day cleaning out his room and he boxed up toys he has outgrown to give to his cousin Connor (this was a big moment for both of us - we have tried this before and it was not too successful).  We have been talking a lot about Christmas lately and how it is an important time to show love and kindness.  At four I see how he has a much better understanding of Christmas being not quite so much about the presents and I love to see his little heart want to do things that make other people happy.  Together we are going to work on a box we will give to a little boy his age and hopefully it will be both a valuable lesson and a family tradition we can continue every year.

Lauren has been talking so much.  She repeats most of what we say and loves to say anything she knows will make us laugh.  She also loves to point to things and tell you what they are.  She can name most of her body parts (including essential accessories such as "bow" and "earrings") and will answer you when you ask her a question (though usually the answer is "no!").  She knows how to open the fridge, take out condiments such as mustard, and walk around the house with them.  She is a tremendous sleeper and still takes great, long naps (sometimes two if she does not have pre-school that day).  Her hair is finally starting to grow and it curls at the end which I think is so cute :)  She is definitely prissy...she loves her jewelry and purses and if she doesn't have either, she will find something to turn into one or the other.

Anyway, here are just a few photos I didn't get the chance to upload between Halloween and now...

 we could not stop laughing at how Lauren holds her lollypop like a cigarette....

 I took my camera to school a couple weeks ago when Logan's class was singing in chapel...

but I couldn't get close enough to get a good picture of him - fortunately I did get some video sent to me by another mom.

(Hope to catch up more...sooner rather than later!)


halloween party, 80's style...

Ryan is the type of person that does not like to do things half way.  When he plays a game, he wants to know all the rules and he wants to follow them exactly...which kind of gives you an idea as to just how difficult it was to be the 'creative director' of our 80's rocker couple Halloween costumes -- especially considering everything except Ryan's wig came from the Goodwill after multiple trips...but I think we did ok....he got first place in the costume contest!

Thought you all might enjoy a few randoms from our evening out....

a lady driving by us did a double take when she looked over at him and it made me laugh so hard.

(Logan got his wish to be an "animal doctor" and Lauren was a cat)

(my parents, the pirates.)

with my BF Katrina, the prom queen :)

Matt and Corey -- (Corey was an oven with a bun in it)

...we are sole mates ;)